Hello one and all!
Quite awhile ago, when the site was under attack from crackers, I was knee-deep in a thread about whether God was logically necessary to the universe’s existence. When all the discussions were wiped out, I took a long breather from all things ontological. Probably for the best since I was logging about six hours a day writing my replies. Still, the issue isn’t really settled in my mind. I don’t want to completely abandon religion until I’ve really, really considered all the arguments on the other side. So, I’m looking for a few brave souls to re-enter the debate with me.
The issue was this: A few people on the board had said that God was a “necessary being”. He was a being whose existence couldn’t be questioned whose non-existence was impossible to conceive. I found the notion odd, as I’d been quite happily conceiving God’s non-existence for quite some time. When I started the thread, it was explained that the reason God was logically necessary was *something *like this:
*]God is that which causes all things to exist.
*]That which caused all things to exist must exist.
*]Therefore: God exists.[/LIST]Seemed pretty watertight to me. According to this formula, God must not only exist, but was logically necessary. It was impossible to think of something real being caused by something that was not real.
But… (It wouldn’t be a debate unless there was a “but”.) This doesn’t tell us anything about who, what, when, where, why, or how God/s/ess/esses exist/s/ed.
What the above formulation really proves is this:
*]For everything that is an effect there is a cause.
*]If an effect exists, the cause must also exist.
*]The known universe is an effect, or series of effects.
*]Since the universe exists, the cause (or causes) must exist.[/LIST]By labeling the Cause “God”, we haven’t proved anything except that God as cause exists. We don’t even know if God was/were aware that he/she/it/they caused the universe to be.
So… am I wrong?
I was hoping to set up some informal rules about posting on this topic, because the last time I attempted it, it got out of hand. So please:
*]Don’t post one-sentence answers. I’ve yet to read a one-sentence answer that was insightful. They don’t need to be essays, but I like reading things people have put some thought into.
*]Especially, don’t post a one-sentence link or book recommendation. If you want to post a link or recommendation after you have made your point, great. But don’t expect me to do your research and analysis for you.
*]Long lists of quotations are a huge drag. I’d like to know what the person posting thinks about the subject.
*]Saying things like “you should pray about it”, or “just open yourself up to the truth”, or “open yourself to the spirit”; while well intentioned and kind hearted, aren’t persuasive arguments. I’m really looking for persuasive arguments.[/LIST]